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Protesters arrested as NC energy panel works on drilling regs

Posted December 18, 2012

— Four people were arrested Tuesday morning as they protested outside a downtown Raleigh building where the state commission responsible for developing regulations that would allow for expanded natural gas drilling in North Carolina was meeting.

The Mining and Energy Commission is scheduled to hold meetings through Wednesday as it tries to meet a 2014 deadline to draft rules for drilling, including the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." The process involves horizontal drilling through underground shale deposits and injecting a high-pressure mix of water and chemicals into the well to break apart the rock and release trapped natural gas.

Drilling opponents say fracking will contaminate North Carolina's underground water supplies and would compete with other water uses during droughts.

The commission discussed water use, as well as issues such as managing waste and environmental standards, on Tuesday morning. Each fracking well requires 2 million to 5 million gallons of water, and commission members debated whether salt water or recycled wastewater could be used.

A report to the panel said there are no saltwater reserves in the areas where most drilling would occur.

"That's a bit of a pity, but we will not give up. We will look for alternative water, like municipal water and so forth, to take the burden off freshwater withdrawals," said Vikram Rao, chairman of the commission's Water and Waste Management Committee.

Meanwhile, two members of the radical environmental group Earth First! padlocked themselves to the doors of the Archdale Building while the commission was inside. Police were trying to determine how to cut the U-shaped bicycle locks they used when the protesters handed over the keys to the locks, saying they had made their point.

Fracking protest Drilling opponents try to keep pressure on state panel

Tamara Matheson and Vincent Michael Gonzalez were charged with disorderly conduct in a public building.

"We are not going to let profiteers exploit and endanger our land and our loved ones," Earth First! member Maria Rowan said. "This hydraulic fracturing has never been done safely. There's been contaminated water. There's been exploding pipelines."

Two other protesters were arrested after they displayed a banner, and police threatened to arrest others if they tried to wave flags, beat drums or chant because the group didn't have a protest permit. Celtia Oakley and Michael Bandes were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting a public officer.

Wednesday's meeting will include a public comment period for 10 speakers, each of whom will get three minutes to describe their thoughts about fracking.

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  • radium Dec 20, 2012

    Four people left with the ability to tell right from wrong in North Carolina, hmf, I thought they were extinct. Go figure. Watch out for the pepper spray.

  • lessismore Dec 18, 2012

    Geosol. Should someone expect a profit for taking a chance to produce a product that others might buy? Why are so so against those who are not lazy and actually do something with their life?

  • geosol Dec 18, 2012

    Love to see my tax money wasted on this right wing boondoggle!! Folks THIS is the kind of thing you can expect when REPUBLICANS have no effective political opposition. Use BIG GOVERNMENT to spend OUR TAX DOLLARS so that a very small minority of rich people can try to make even more money. The good news is that there is too little gas to make this crazy right wing boondoggle work for several decades to come - if ever. But it IS fun to watch them make complete fools of themselves. I just wish they wouldn't use MY MONEY to do it.

  • wayneboyd Dec 18, 2012

    The last figures I saw on the BP blowout in the gulf, they had paid out over 20 BILLION out of pocket toward compensation for individual and enviornmental sufferages and damages. These orginaizations know there are going to be accidents and I believe they are responsible stewards of our enviornment. After all whar would be the use in fracking and making millions and then having to pay all the profits out in compensury claims.
    Also, if you ask the U.S. Department of the Interior, the government holds ALL mineral rights on every inch of land in America.

  • lessismore Dec 18, 2012

    Where were all these tree hungers when hog lagoons were pouring waste into our rivers and streams. Where were they when Sanderson Farms wanted to build a slaughter house on the Tar River? Why come out now? Who is paying them to protest? Are these protesters being paid by another party?

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 18, 2012

    "& where exactly is the municipal water coming from ?? & if it is treated wastewater, what happens when it is diverted from streams?"

    one
    December 18, 2012 6:29 p.m.____________________________________
    Now you're asking the tough questions, that they don't want to or can't answer and will defend to their last breath to not answer it.

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 18, 2012

    "they need you approval" CORRECTION, They don't need your approval..

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 18, 2012

    "We will take all jobs we can get around here. If they want to build a chicken plant in my backyard here in Nash county, it is fine by me. A bad smell is a small price to pay when there is a potential of over a thousand jobs created. I will take gas well in my backyard also if I get my own direct line."

    ALL HAIL ME
    December 18, 2012 5:44 p.______________________________________
    1. Those jobs won't be local jobs. 2. You just might end up paying more for water than ya do now. 3. Your taxes will go up to pay for this. 4. No direct line to your house, ya know ya got to pay that middle man and those taxes. 5. It ain't alway sunny in NC.

  • one Dec 18, 2012

    "A report to the panel said there are no saltwater reserves in the areas where most drilling would occur.
    "That's a bit of a pity, but we will not give up. We will look for alternative water, like municipal water and so forth, to take the burden off freshwater withdrawals," said Vikram Rao, chairman of the commission's Water and Waste Management Committee"

    & where exactly is the municipal water coming from ?? & if it is treated wastewater, what happens when it is diverted from streams?

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 18, 2012

    Well I own land here in easstern NC, and I dont approve of them useing my Gas, if I think they are goin after it... well i'm old fashioned, i'll give them some other minerals to worry about... lead

    maewyn2
    December 18, 2012 11:16 a.m.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    >>>>>>>>>>Then you better be contacting your Rep. because the way the law is written, they need you approval, they can drill at an angle under your property. It just amaze me how many people don't understand what this law is and what is in it. They've all but gave away our rights to the gas companies. There will be a few who'll make money, but the rest of us will be paying for the damage they do, the clean up that go on for years. Our children and grand kids will be paying for this years from now. It's already cost us a load of tax dollars we don't have and they aint' even drilled a well yet.

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